Recipe: Bánh Tét – Vietnamese Cylindrical Sticky Rice Cake

Bánh Tét - Vietnamese Cylindrical Sticky Rice Cake

By Helen Le Published: January 24, 2014

  • Prep: 3 hrs 0 min
  • Cook: 10 hrs 0 min
  • Ready In: 13 hrs 0 min

  • Yield: 4-5 (10-15 Servings)

Bánh tét is a must-have traditional food in Vietnamese Lunar New Year in Southern Vietnam. It demonstrates the importance of rice in the Vietnamese culture. Making the cakes is a time-consuming process, but it provides an opportunity for family members to bond and come together to celebrate the holiday spirit.

  • Place the mung beans in a pot filled with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until mashable, about 20-30 minutes. Mash into a paste with a potato masher or spoon. Season with 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, fried shallot and vegetable oil.
  • Season the sticky rice with 1 tsp salt.
  • Season the pork with fish sauce, 1 tsp pepper, and shallots.
  • Take about a cup of the mashed mung beans, spread out on a saran wrap, place a piece of pork on top and wrap it up shaping into a log.
  • To assemble, lay out 6 sheets of partially overlapping banana leaves so that the spinal veins of the leaves are paralell (You can replace some of the middle sheets with aluminium foil.) The darker side of the uppermost sheets faces up.
  • Place about a cup of rice along the length of the leaves. Place the filling on top of the rice. Then cover it up with another cup rice.
  • Lift up the sides of the wrapper and let them meet, then fold to shape the cake into a log. Tie a knot right in the middle of the log. Roughly fold one end and stand it up. Fold the end on top to seal and cover with a few pieces of banana leaves. Then tie another knot closer to the end.
  • Do the same with the other end. Then tie the cake with more strings to make sure the banana leaves will not fall apart.
  • Stand the cakes in a large pot filled with enough water to cover. Simmer until the cakes feel plump and the rice is congealed, about 8-10 hours. Keep an eye on the pot and add more hot water as necessary to keep the cakes covered.
  • When cooked, remove the cakes and rinse under cold water. Then hang them up to air dry.
  • To serve, unwrap the cake and cut into wheel-shaped slices using thread or dental floss. Bánh tet is often served with pickled onions (dua hanh), pickled vegetables in fish sauce (dua mon), or dipped in sugar for a sweet treat. They can also be deep-fried until golden brown, and served with sweet chili fish sauce.

Post By Helen Le (313 Posts)

Since 2011 Helen has shared her Vietnamese home cooking video recipes on Youtube, helping viewers cook Vietnamese Food in the easiest, fastest and most authentic way possible. Subscribe to receive her newest videos for FREE:

Website: → Danang Cuisine


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2 comments on “Recipe: Bánh Tét – Vietnamese Cylindrical Sticky Rice Cake


Hi Ladies,
I’m preparing to try this. Can you confirm that the sticky rice is uncooked (but soaked) when it is wrapped up with the other ingredients?

Here in Australia I can get glutinous rice from the supermarket, I guess that is “sticky rice”?

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